The truth is you could point to a spot on the map of Santa Monica at random and find a fun place to eat. While I don’t suggest you do that (unless you’re really adventurous), I do recommend checking out these places to eat and drink. They’re some of my favorite restaurants in Santa Monica, CA.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN SANTA MONICA
Breakfast in Santa Monica
- Address: 1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
If you want quaint food from mainly local sources, Huckleberry Café is highly recommended. Patrons say it feels like its own little world.
Breakfast is on the pricier side here, but you partly pay for ambiance and prompt service. Personally, this is one of the best places for breakfast in Santa Monica.
The OP Café
- Address: 3117 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, C
If Huckleberry isn’t your cup of tea, The OP is more to the point. If you’re looking for a beach vibe that’s high on simplicity and low on price, The OP Café is your spot. Think classic diner meets beach town.
Lunch in Santa Monica
- Address: 2327 Main St, Santa Monica
Yes, it may be about as cliché as it gets to go to Urth Caffe in Santa Monica, but don’t let that stop you! The lines are long for a reason, and it’s not just novelty, the serve some of the best food in Santa Monica.
If you want healthy and unique in a casual setting, this is the place to stop.
- Address: 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA
If you’re walking the Third Street Promenade and find yourself hungry, stop into Flower Child! This is a fun Bohemian-style restaurant.
You’ll find light, health-conscious options here mainly, and you can’t go wrong with a wrap!
Cha Cha Chicken
- Address: 1906 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
A local Jamaican restaurant that serves the best jerk chicken around? Yes, please! Simple and to the point, if the vibe of Urth Caffe is a bit much for you, this is a more casual option near the beach.
Dinner Restaurants in Santa Monica
- Address: 2912 Main St, Santa Monica, CA
While on the pricier end, you can get a bento box here that can feed two people. This Santa Monica restaurant is not too far from the beach on Main Street. And it is the place to be if you’re looking for top-notch Japanese food.
Esters Wine Shop & Bar
- Address: 1314 7th St, Santa Monica, CA
While this could probably be in the lunch category, Esters opens at 1:00pm on weekdays and 11:00am on weekends, however, it remains one of the best Santa Monica restaurants for dinner.
Fun and artsy, this is a laid-back spot for sampling wine and small plate dishes.
- Address: 1314 7th St, Santa Monica, CA
Next to Esters Wine is Cassia, a fusion of French and South Asian dining in a more upscale setting. Since Esters is next door, you can stop by there while you wait for a table at Cassia.
If you like seafood, this is a great restaurant to try downtown.
Tar & Roses
- Address: 602 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
This New American style restaurant does require a reservation, but the prices are moderate for the area. If you want to have your dinner and drinks in one place, this is the spot.
Drinks and Cocktails in Santa Monica
- Address: 1432 4th St, Santa Monica, CA
If you want to get into the soul of Santa Monica, here’s a music club nearly 100 years old. If you enjoy blues and brass instruments, this club as old as prohibition will not disappoint!
- Address: 2914 Main St, Santa Monica, CA
File this under the “very LA” list of things to do in Santa Monica. JuneShine is an organic hard kombucha bar. If you’re looking to have a few drinks and feel proud of yourself for good choices all at once, you’ve found your bar.
The Dudes’ Brewing Co.
- Address: 395 Santa Monica Pl #304, Santa Monica, CA
Notice the apostrophe; there is more than one dude. Not that you can’t indulge your inner Big Lebowski here (in fact, we encourage it). If you want to try some unique and forward-thinking takes on classic beers, this innovative brewing company has something for every taste!
- Address: 1701 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
Exactly what it sounds like, this homey spot has lots of styles of cheesecake to choose from. If you enjoy an after-dinner espresso, pair a cheesecake with it at Rocco’s.
Le Macaron French Pastries Santa Monica
- Address: 1301 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA
This family-run place is just as suited to breakfast as it is to dessert. Get a box of macarons as a post-dinner treat, or pair them with a coffee to get your morning started!
SomiSomi Santa Monica
- Address: 1456 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA
If you’re not familiar with the Korean dessert ah-boong, you’re in for a (literal) treat! You’re faced with a seemingly infinite number of combinations of soft serve, fillings, and toppings, all in a fish-shaped waffle cone.
No matter the moment in your day, this lists features some of the best eateries, bars, and restaurants in Santa Monica for you to explore the most amazing culinary vibe in western Los Angeles County.
Where to stay in Santa Monica
- Ocean View Hotel
- Stunning oceanfront condo
- Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier
- Hotel Shangri-La
- Santa Monica Loews Hotel
When you’re not discovering Santa Monica on your own, we suggest treating yourself to a tour. From private wine tours to kayak and SUP tours, cooking classes classes to tours of celebrity-owned homes, there’s a little something for everyone. Browse all the Santa Monica tours available on Viator by clicking here.
If you want to capture the memories from your trip to Monterey, we recommend hiring a professional photographer. A Flytographer photoshoot is one of our favorite souvenirs from our travels and we want to share them with you!